The Real Cost of Cheap Replacement Windows

windows-5Buying a home is the biggest investment most people make during their lifetime. When it’s time to replace your windows, you’re re-investing in your home. No one wants to pay more than they have to, but cheap replacement windows aren’t your best option. Instead, getting the best quality you can afford will pay off in many ways.

Cost is about more than the initial price you pay for the windows and installation. And “cheap” refers to inferior quality, not just lower price. When you compare total cost of ownership over the lifetime of your windows – typically up to 20 years – it’s easy to see why cheap replacement windows aren’t so cheap after all.

Replacement windows are better than your old ones.

They’ve come a long way in recent years, thanks to new technologies. You can – and should – expect much more from your replacement windows than a good view to the outdoors and protection from wind and rain.

Some factors affect initial price, but you’ll also want to consider other factors that affect ongoing costs of owning and using your windows. For instance, where do you live? Windows have to work harder where weather fluctuates considerably during the year or where extreme weather events typically occur. Some windows can offer significant noise reduction, too.

Replacement windows affect everything about your home – it’s appearance, it’s ability to keep your family cozy and safe, your enjoyment and its future value. Not surprisingly, you’ll find a tremendous price range.

What factors affect initial cost?

• Size.
• Style and detailing options.
• Custom versus standard.
• Frame materials. Wood, wood/vinyl composites, vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass vary widely in their strength and durability.
• Glass options. Double-pane is the norm, now, and you can get triple-pane glass, too.
• Hardware. Tilt-in window panes make cleaning much easier, but they cost more.
• Safety and security options. Tempered glass and special locking mechanisms can keep intruders out and protect family members from injury.

What factors affect ongoing costs?

• Energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR rated windows provide the best overall energy efficiency. They aren’t the cheapest, but they can bring you significant savings on your heating and cooling bills year after year.
• Maintenance. How much time and money will you have to spend on upkeep such as repainting?
• Lifespan. The longer your windows last, the less often you’ll have to replace them.

A note about installation.

If you’re handy at DIY projects, you could save money by installing replacement windows yourself. But you might want to rethink that. Professional installation ensures every detail is handled correctly, which can protect the validity of your warranty. And the pros will get the work done faster.

Purchasing replacement windows from a well-known, top-quality manufacturer may cost more, but they’ll come with a better warranty, too. That kind of peace of mind is priceless.

It’s a good idea to talk with a replacement window professional. They can guide you toward choices that will be the best fit with your home, your lifestyle and your budget. That way, you’ll be sure to skip the “cheap” and focus on windows that will be a truly cost-effective investment.

Author: Shawn Sell
Managing Partner
My Guys Remodeling